In fact, we couldn’t be bothered about organized sports at all.
Our interest was in seeing China, breathing its air (occasionally), eating its food, practicing its language, and witnessing the spectacle of the games up close. Having attended the Games in Athens in 2004, I just wanted to marinate in the unique atmosphere the Olympics create: revelry and friendly competition between all nations; being amidst some of the most talented, hard-working, accomplished young folks on the planet; witnessing the spectacle of human achievement; seeing which country’s fans got wasted the most.
After taking a picture with them wearing their little “I Voted” stickers, I got in my car and drove up to San Francisco. As early as 2009, I had ventured up north and checked out an apartment a friend was getting with the idea of becoming housemates.
He wanted an answer the next day, I wasn’t ready to make a decision that fast, and perhaps not entirely willing to trade in my two-bedroom, two-bathroom beachside pad for a 10’x10’ room in a shared apartment. And yet, I repeatedly found myself in San Francisco which favorably impressed me each time.
Previously, I had heard the Buddhist version of the probability of ‘this precious incarnation’.
That is, instead of making one big hand-waving gesture and pronouncing, “The answer is five hundred bazillion squintillion,” we make a series of sequentially-reasoned, smaller hand-waving gestures so as to make it all seem scientific.At the beginning of 2016, I decided to devote more time to my favorite activity: reading.I set myself a rough target of two books a week, and got through about 110 of them (32,000 pages, according to my Goodreads profile). : These books aren’t necessarily the most fun to get through, but they’re talking about something super important that is probably affecting your life right now, e.g.TEDx SF invited me to come speak on creativity in November of 2009, and the people I met were very interesting indeed.Then, every other month, I’d find myself in the Bay Area to visit friends for weddings and other special events.(This is also known as ‘consulting’ – especially if you show it all in a Power Point deck.) Oh, this is going to be fun. I noticed that a lot of you are having issues with your smartphone’s simultaneous real-time voice chat app, also known as The Phone. Unless you enjoy annoying your friends with cryptic messages like “Let’s meet at mine at the tar”, “You’re she nest” and “I realty hike you,” you need to get on the horn (= more hip slang for “The Phone” — you’re welcome! Now some of them may be trying to sell you sketchy time shares in Reno. Of course not, because that would the definition of a dick move, and you are not a dick. This is because talking on the phone is one of the ways you trust and intimacy with another person — y’know, getting to know them and stuff, at a safe distance. Oh, and for our dinner tonight, you should look up at the sky where Orion would be around 7.30pm — I’ll be putting up the venue there in red smoke. The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water — in the middle of that life preserver. First, let us figure out the probability of one turtle sticking its head out of the one life preserver we toss out somewhere in the ocean. According to Wolfram Alpha, the total area of oceans in the world is 3.409×10 which we will conveniently round to 0.5 square meters.If one square kilometer is a million square meters, then the probability of Mr Turtle sticking his head out of that life preserver is simply the area inside the life preserver divided by the total area of all oceans, or 0.5m, or about 1 in 700 trillion. I gotta say, the two numbers are pretty darn close, for such a farfetched notion from two completely different sources: old-time Buddhist scholars and present-day scientists. So to the second question: how accurate is this number?Around January of this year, my friend Randall and I started to discuss the possibility of visiting China for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.Randall had been taking Chinese lessons for some time, and I was itching for an excuse to start them myself.On the morning of Tuesday, 6 November 2012, I walked to Joslyn Park to cast my ballot for the US Presidential elections for the last time in Santa Monica.I then visited my parents up the road and had lunch with them.And if you’re not on Goodreads already, it’s a fantastic utility for keeping track of your reading and discovering new books.